Kabul Beat is an online magazine in two national languages of Afghanistan Dari & Pashto & English, that aims to share stories from different and undermined provinces of Afghanistan. Kabul Beat will teach 7-10 aspiring bloggers and writers from different provinces of Afghanistan who wish to write but due to financial problems and lack of access to internet can't present their writings to worldwide audience. Kabul Beat will have monthly issues and each issue will contain will have 7 blogs. The blogs will be in Dari and Pashto languages and the complete issue will be translated into English.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Kabul, Herat, Mazar
Describe the specific community with whom you will be working.
Everyday stories released from Afghanistan are war stories. People from other provinces of Afghanistan have no access to share their stories
online, and the culture of writing for online portals has not developed in these provinces. Kabul Beat will be able to provide the platform for
the aspiring writers to express themselves.Culture of war stories must come to an end and this can only be done if there is another portal where people could share. Afghan people specially the young generation, who are the main target audience has access to internet on daily basis in their smartphones and computers, but they never get stories other than war.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The content of Kabul Beat will be culture, history, society, daily life, Education, opportunities, photo essays, achievements of local heroes in the community and personal stories in format of citizen journalism. The trained aspiring writers will share their stories in different languages in the website. Every month 7 stories from different locations of Afghanistan will be shared in the website in a issue. photography and social media will also be part of the training for the aspiring
Each issue will be divided into two main sections.
1. Stories: Where blogs will be shared.
2. Photos: Pictures of daily life in Afghanistan will be published.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established that will contribute to the success of the project.
Kabul Beat will partner with different organizations.
1. Afghan Voices has promised to volunteer in holding sessions of writings and photography for the trainees of Kabul Beat. Afghan Voices is a media production organization who train filmmakers and journalists.
2. AfghanGraphics who is a well known Afghan organization in web designing has offered discount services package of two years for the website designing.
3. Abrar Foundation a local Charity organization has promised to lend their projection system for the first training session.
4. ANGO is youth empowerment organization and has given the Kabul Beat team to hold the first session in their office.
How many participants do you think will be involved in your project?
There will be 7-10 aspiring writers who will be trained in their local communities. The whole project will be a training camp and the trainees must submit their stories and active participation will have rewards; which is a good tool to encourage students.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
I have three years of journalism background in Afghanistan. I have worked in various fields of media from reporting to editing and photography. I also taught many classes to journalists about report writing, conflict sensitive journalism, video editing and use of social media in today's journalism. I myself will train the first session of the program and will be the editor of all the content that will be published.
Afghan Voices has been training journalists and filmmakers in Afghanistan for the past three years and some of the renowned local journalists are the graduates of Afghan Voices.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
All of the workshops will be held in Afghan Voices local offices with 128 kbps DSL internet facilities. Afghan Voices local offices has small staff so the internet is reliable.
The main workshop venue will be held in Abrar office which has a large training room with the capacity of 20 people at a time. And the training room is equipped with WIMAX dedicated 512 kbps internet.
The projection system of Abrar foundation is Epson EX3212 Projector (Portable SVGA 3LCD, 2800 lumens color brightness, 2800 lumens white brightness, HDMI, rapid setup) and will be used for the first session.
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
I have been working and teaching journalists in the community for the last three years. And since I am from the same community, I know all the needs and wants of the people of the community. I have long term commitments for The Kabul Beat online magazine, in the second phase of the magazine after it has gotten it's online status among the people of Afghanistan. Then the magazine will start publishing it's issues and distribute it in the universities and other institutions.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
The main obstacle on the way is to keep the magazine running after its first phase of online publication is completed. For this to happen, Kabul Beat's successful completion of its first phase will lay the ground to get it moving.
After Kabul Beat gets it is online status, it has a long term plan of going into other underprivileged committees and will create content for them.
In this stage Kabul Beat does not have any specific problems, because the program is well laid out and everything is set to go. But on its next stage there will be problems.
Security is not a concern for us at this stage, because security will not stop us from telling what we really want to.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
The success of the project will determined through the work of the participants. With the content produced by the aspiring writers about their local communities and published in the world wide web it will give the people a different and better sense of what truly is happening in Afghanistan. The world haven't seen the good stories of Afghanistan. This project will be considered successful when this project shows that untold stories from Afghanistan.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2013?
The main program will be three months with the following schedule. And the process will continue in the way.
5 – 10 June 2013 – first workshop in Kabul for the team
10 -15 June 2013 – Return to local communities submitting first stories
15 – 20 June 2013 – Editing and commenting on the stories
20 – 30 June 2013 – Publishing the website in three languages
1-10 July 2013: working with journalists on the field
11 – 20 July 2013: Writing and Composing Second stories
21- 30 July 2013: Submittal of second stories and editing
1-10 August 2013: working with journalists on the field
11 – 20 August 2013: Writing and Composing Second stories
21- 30 August 2013: Submittal of second stories and editing
Detail a specific budget of up to $4,000 USD for operating costs.
Since I will be the coordinator of the project, I will not charge any expenses because it is a dream I have strive for. The main expenses of this project is the equipment and translation of the content from local to English language.
1. Dongle Internet Service (1 year contract) = 400
2. Laptops 2X 500 = 1000
3. two years website maintenance = 600
4. Translation of the Content ( 2 years Contract) = 700
Mohammad ilias Alami